Apple harvest impacted by spring weather - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Apple harvest impacted by spring weather

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DUBUQUE COUNTY (KWWL) -- An early planting season helped some apple growers, but a late frost hurt others.

Czipar's Apple Orchard has been in Dick Czipar's family since the early 1940s. He said he has seen good and bad seasons for apple crops and knows it was a close call this year.

"We could've lost the whole thing, because we had an early bloom and a late frost," Czipar said.

Luckily for him, Czipar said, "we sit up on this hill high enough that we're protected, a lot of times, when the people in lowlands get frost, we don't."

While other orchards may be seeing lower numbers, Czipar said his crop is a solid, average yield.

It is a crop that attracted quite a crowd to Czipar's Annual Apple Festival, which has been running for more than 40 years.

Czipar said the wet summer wasn't a problem and that an early planting season meant an early and extended harvest.

However, Czipar said his biggest problem this year was sunburn.

You can see the light right around here," Czipar said, holding a red apple in his hand. "That's sunburn."

Czipar said sunburn only affects the look, not the taste.

"You have to find what you like," Czipar's daughter Cathy Czipar-Hall said. "Now, my flavor changes. I start the season with a Royal Gala. I like sweet. But when those start to soften, I'm the Jonagold."

An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but as for Mother Nature, "She controls. She's got the upper hand," Czipar said.

Czipar's Annual Apple Festival continues Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. It's on Highway 52, about four miles south of Dubuque.

Online Reporter Becca Habegger

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